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As I was reading The Crying of Lot 49, I felt very distant from the protagonist Oedipa Mass and the story as a whole.  Throughout the novel, there is an element of detachment from reality and truth. This distance from reality and between characters seems to be due to the lack of communication. Characters Oedipa continuously acts upon impulse and communicates little with those around her. When she begins her affair with Metzger there is no communication between them about their feelings.  They are very intoxicated and act simply on impulse.  Oedipa appears to start this affair out of boredom with her marriage yet she never even communicates with her husband.  It’s difficult to understand Oedipa’s motives and feelings because the reader is only really exposed to her actions.  She sometimes describes her feelings, yet they are often random and undeveloped.   As the novel progresses she delves deeper and deeper into this conspiracy while she becomes more and more distant from reality and those around her. When she begins running through the streets, she is confused and disoriented. She becomes so detached from reality she begins seeing the Tristero symbol everywhere, unable to perceive reality and truth from her own hallucinations.  Those around her become distant, especially her husband who in the end she give up trying to communicate with him completely, because he is on LSD and on a completely different level.  Yet, it really didn’t even seem like she tried very hard to communicate with him.  I thought the fact it was hard to discern many of Oedipa’s motives and inner thoughts, made her actions seem much more random or impulse driven.  It seemed her actions were either driven by desire and impulse or, like when she stop trying to communicate with her husband, out of indifference and boredom.

-Shelby Muchammuel

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